Feature Interview: Alaskan artist Nicholas Galanin

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Artist  Nicholas Galanin. His work is currently featured at the Beat Nation exhibit. The show wraps up in Montreal, Canada this weekend. (Photo courtesy Nicholas Galanin)
Artist Nicholas Galanin. His work is currently featured at the Beat Nation exhibit. The show wraps up in Montreal, Canada this weekend. (Photo courtesy Nicholas Galanin)
The Canadian exhibition, Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, winds up its three-month run at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, (Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art), this weekend.

The show featured works by indigenous artists working in everything from painting and drawing to sculpture and installation – all inspired by hip-hop and urban culture.

Expectations around aboriginal art often skew towards  so-called ‘traditional’ themes and mediums.

But Curator and Secwepemc artist Tania Willard said she hoped Beat Nation would get people to rethink how they view contemporary indigenous works.

“I don’t want people to see this as a break with tradition, but as a continuation of the innovation and adaptation that our ancestors have always done,” she said on Beat Nation’s opening day.

The show had a particularly strong showing from Arctic and northern-based artists.

In October, we brought you an interview with Canadian Inuk artist Mark Igloliorte on his participation in the exhibition.

 Today, we bring you the last interview in the series  with Alaska Tlingit artist Nicholas Galanin on what it was like to participate in the Canadian exhibit and how shows like this can unite northern artists and peoples.

Related Links:

Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture

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Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project.

Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the violent death of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on violence and trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

Twitter: @Arctic_EQ

Email: eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

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